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(Surprisingly) Warm Reception at Gay Journalists’ Conference

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:39 pm - August 31, 2007.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay America,Gay Politics

I had hoped to live-blog parts of Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves, the LGBT Media Summit and National Convention, I’m now attending in San Diego. I had been invited to participate on the panel, “The Right Approach: Covering LGBT Conservatives,” along with the BoifromTroy, Scott Schmidt and James Vaughn, the Director of Log Cabin California.

Anyway, the reason I’m not live-blogging this is that the hotel we’re staying at the Westin Horton Plaza, while otherwise an excellent hotel, only has spotty wireless in the lobby and conference areas. It does not have wireless in the rooms. Odd that the sponsors of the conference, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association would choose a hotel without inadequate wireless for a journalists confab. That notwithstanding, the group has done a great job organizing the event.

I’ve been impressed with the convention program, the facility in registration and the diverse offerings of their continental breakfasts.

The other thing that has impressed (and kind of surprised) me has been the reception I have received here. Normally when I attend gay events, I find the mostly left-leaning participants heaping scorn on me because of my politics. But, while I do get some ribbing for my politics, it has all been in good fun and those doing the ribbing don’t seem to be judging me adversely for it

In our panel, Scott, James and I all agreed that we are better received as gays in conservative/Republican circles than as Republicans in gay circles.

I felt the questions that moderator Wayne Besen asked were largely good, but a little leading. And he, like many others, has been focusing on the Larry Craig story, confirming the observation which sparked my last post about the saturation sensationalization of this story.

I’m pleased to note that when I introduce myself, many people are familiar with the blog, most having a largely favorable impression of it and many (even on the left) appreciating our presence in the blogosphere. Some have asked how we have been received among the conservative blogs and have been intrigued (for lack of better word) about our generally favorable reception among other blogging conservatives, particularly some of the leading blogs.

One guy from an MSM outlet, who had not heard of the blog, upon learning of its rightward leanings, said there was a need for gay conservative voices, holiding that it’s a mistake to assume all gays are liberal. (I did not get to ask if it was okay to use him name and will ask him the next time I see him.)

And while people here have not been dismissive of me because of my politics, they do identify me for it. Being a gay Republican is still (to many) an anomaly, that it seems that’s the one thing they’ll remember me for, even if I have waxed eloquent about my love for movies and mythology, particularly my dissertation topic, and have recited lines Beowulf in the original.

I’m also met some interesting people, some with whom I’ve corresponded or about whom we’ve written and linked on the blog, including Chris Crain who is much taller in person than he looks in his pictures on the web. 🙂 And I met the Washington Blade‘s Kevin Naff who appeared on our BlogTalkRadio podcast after the Logo Presidential Forum. Nice guys both.

I briefly talked to one man whom I have long respected while strongly disagreeing with his politics. When Larry Kramer asked a question in the Plenary session on the 40 years of the Advocate, he noted that being gay was about “more than just sex.” Interestingly, that magazine’s deputy editor said that she had asked disgraced former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey to write a piece on Larry Craig. No word yet on whether he accepted. But, she did respond favorably to my criticism on their absence of conservative columnists.

More on much of this anon.

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